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Without a doubt, the biggest trends I saw in Cologne last week were textured, naturally-stained wood and skinny, skinny counter tops. Count on that skinny counter top trend showing up in the US and the rest of the world very quickly.
In two solid days of walking around the show, I could have counted on one hand the number of 3-centimeter "American" counters I saw. There was very little granite but a lot of laminate and a porcelain counter material that's unavailable in North America.
These 1-centimeter skinny counters stood out because they're in such stark opposition to what we see in the U.S. and Canada these days.
What would it take to get you to embrace the 1-centimeter counter? Europeans use laminates in kitchens in ways their North American counterparts never would. It makes sense though. Laminates are sustainable and long-lasting and they look terrific when they're used properly.
The current European version of the Great American White Kitchen is a white-and-wood-tone laminated kitchen. What do you think of this white-and-wood-grain combo?